The closest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. As silly as this cliché sounds, I still fell for it.
My husband and I started dating when at the same time I finally decided to seriously learn how to cook. As I was looking for eager souls who can try out the dishes I’d prepare, one day I nonchalantly invited him for a weekend dinner.
So I began to ask, “What’s Belgian cuisine that you miss the most now?”
He grinned and quickly replied, “Belgian beef stew.”
I stared blankly at him as he began describing how this beef stew is prepared and how it tastes like. By the time my potential guinea pig left, I started to seek what this Belgian dish is all about.
Also known as carbonade flamande in French, or in Flemish stoverij or stoofvlees, this hearty, slow-cooked Flemish beef stew recipe is a national dish in Belgium. This Belgian dish has close resemblance with beef bourguignon in the south of France, since the term carbonade may also refer to certain beef stews cooked with red wine. This traditional Belgian sweet-sour beef and onion stew on the other hand, is made with beer, which is the signature element to achieve its distinct flavor. It uses a specific kind of Belgian-style ale and oftentimes a beer with a bitter or hoppy taste is preferred. If a true Belgian beer is not available, it is recommended to use a flavorful brown beer and for some, they suggest an “old stout” or thick beer.